Teen Mother's Worst Nightmare A Reality In Beloit

- Beloit – It’s a mother's worst nightmare finding your three month old unresponsive after parent and baby lay down for a nap. It happened this week to a teen mother in Beloit and now police suspect the infant may have died of suffocation.

Cuddling up with a baby is something all parents love to do, but falling asleep in that position could be deadly. Dr. Kendra Hall, a pediatrician at Swedish American said “When they are really little, they just don’t have the strength and the coordination and muscle to be able to get themselves out of those tight situations and be able to breathe.

The practice of sharing the bed with an infant, also known as co sleeping is where many parents believe their babies belong, but statistics say otherwise. Over one hundred infant deaths in 2013 were linked to co sleeping -- either smothered by bedding -- or a parent's body. “Even just mom and dads bodies which are potentially soft, and if the baby gets wedged in there potentially can suffocate and stop breathing” said Dr. Hall

That is what apparently happened in the 1500 block of St. Lawrence in Beloit on Wednesday. Police say a teen mother "went to sleep on a couch" with her infant child, and woke up to found the baby not breathing. “Babies should room share, but not bed share with parents, meaning that to facilitate breast feeding and make it easier for nursing in the middle of the night, have the baby in a bassinet or a crib.” Said Dr. Hall

Supporters of co sleeping say it helps regulate sleep cycles and also encourages breast feeding, but doctors say the safest spot for your baby is the crib. Dr. Hall said “The best place to have a baby sleep is in a firm mattress with just the baby, the firm mattress and a sheet and you should put them down to sleep on their back and make sure that the bed is free of  blankets, pillows, toys or bumpers until one year of age.”

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